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Mr I Elmslie (London)
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Hide Nothing
Hide Nothing
Price: £16.70

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great leap for gay mankind..., 16 Jun 2013
This review is from: Hide Nothing (Audio CD)
Once a year, an artist and an album come into your life that remind you why music touches the parts other arts cannot reach.

I was introduced to Matt Alver by default. An ex-boyfriend of mine alerted me to the fact that he was doing an appearance at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, wholly convinced that I had made the initial introduction to the artist. I hadn't, but followed the breadcrumbs to You Tube and listened to "The End of the World".

And so the love affair with this artist begins...

Yes...there is a little Rufus in there..."Rufus Lite"..."I can't believe it's not Rufus"...and that's more than OK with me, as a major fan of Mr Wainwright. But there is more...sometimes less...and sometimes less IS more.

The title of this album is wonderfully appropriate. Mr Alber obviously decided to break down any walls to his artistry and let his imagination soar. And soar it certainly does. The lyrics are poetic, but not lost in obscure imagery. The music moves from gentle acoustic to full orchestra, and imbedded in it all is the voice.

Ah, that voice. So pure, perfectly supported, expressive and achingly beautiful. Whereas Rufus tends to throw the vowels through his nose, and bust his lungs in search of the eternal note, Matt just lets it flow from his soul.

I could wax lyrical about every track, as every track merits praise. Each song works in it's own right, and can be listened to individually as part of the whole. I prefer the latter. As with the wonderful work of John Grant, this album leads you on a journey which should be savoured in it's entireity.

Enough.

Just buy it. Listen to it. Love it.

And take that love out into the world...cos it sure needs it at the moment.

And Matt...if you ever read this...your music has been medicine for my sad and troubled soul, and your performance on Thursday, on a stage where I performed for many many years, was a wonderful, warm and deeply rewarding experience.

This is my album of the year.


Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! does Judy! Judy! Judy! [DVD] [2007]
Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! does Judy! Judy! Judy! [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Rufus Wainwright
Price: £8.62

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man that got his way!, 21 Dec 2007
Before Kylie, before Madonna, before any other gay icon, there was Judy...
This album, for so many gay men, is the I-Ching. I can remember sitting on a train, heading into the bright lights of London town, listening to the original "Judy at Carnegie" album on my Walkman...learning and falling in love with the greatest collection of work in the Great American Songbook. I learnt more about love and life from this album than any other.
When I heard that Rufus Wainwright was going to re-create that magic night in 1961, I was both ecstatic and mightily concerned. I had long been a fan, to the point of major obsession, and was aware of his pretentious daring, but THIS?!?!?
I missed the Carnegie shows, and had to content myself with recorded snippets on YouTube. Then, the announcement...two shows at The Palladium and one in Paris...I had to see all three! Tickets bought, pressed and dressed, and it's showtime, folks!
As that legendary overture reached its climax, my heart was pounding...could he pull this off? Opening number, "When you're smiling"...it's THOSE arrangements with THAT voice, and it is all working brilliantly! "Almost like being in love", and that bell is ringing for maaaaaay..."Do it again", in the original key, and I can't breathe as his falsetto rides on top of the shimmering strings. This is magical!
"You go to my head", and he even slips in the "forgot the goddam words" bit...you've done your homework, Rufus, even to the point of standing on the same part of the stage as Judy did to deliver "Alone Together"...dedicated to his partner, Jorn, and sung with such intensity and passion. The next four songs take us from swing to ragtime to late-night jazz and he wins each time, peaking with "How long has this been going on", which is just perfect. Then, the big one..."The Man that got away". It is a well-known fact that Judy's arranger always pitched her songs a note above where she thought she could sing, so that she had to fight for it. I think that Rufus does this too. At times, you can feel him literally clawing his way up to the top notes...it makes for electrifying listening and viewing. The first half closes with "San Francisco", a barn-storming performance, full of kitsch and bravado...glorious!
Second half..."That's Entertainment"...all those tricky lyrics just fall off his tongue! "I can't give you anything but love"...so gentle and sublime, taken slowly and sung so beautifully. "Come Rain or come shine"...you try singing along with this, and see how many key changes you make! The "parlour" section of voice and piano is possibly Rufus at his best...three songs, concluding with "If love were all"...you can't screw around with Noel Coward, and he doesn't...glorious!
"Zing when the strings of my heart", and Rufus displays his dancing "talent"! You get the feeling that he has just "come out to play" and is still the little lad who got up first at the family hootenanny and wouldn't sit down! He plays the fool and you love him all the more for it! His sister, the sultry Martha, brings down the house with a wonderful rendition of "Stormy Weather"...the ghost of Lotte Lenya burns in her soul!
Down to the old folks home; "You made me love you", "Me and my gal" and then...the highlight; "The Trolley Song"...the sheer joy of this performance just bursts through the screen...cue mad mad mad applause! "Rock a bye your baby" and he is still hitting notes that defy gravity. "Over the Rainbow", with Mama at the piano...it's impossible to to take the ownership of this song away from Garland and he doesn't even try...just sings the song...lovely!
Final furlong..."Swanee" and he is living out his Jolson fantasies as well! "After you've gone" and Lorna Luft joins him and shakes her vibrato all about! "Chicago"...and I never thought I would get to shout the response to "and you will never guess where"!!! Fabulous stuff! "Get Happy"...not part of the original concert, but why the hell not!! A solo spot for Lorna and Martha, and gentle "Everytime we say Goodbye"...and it's all over!
This may read like a love letter...and so it should!
There will be those who say he should never have attempted this project. But watch this DVD and see the absolute passion and artistic integrity in every song, every note, every moment of this performance. Rufus does not impersonate Garland...THAT would be foolish! It is a tribute to one of the greatest singers of all time and to some of the greatest composers.
At one point, having struggled gamely to the end of "Come Rain or Come Shine", Rufus flops on a stool, messes his hair up for the umpteenth time and says "Insanity"...it is! It was! But it was a night I will never forget. He will never do the show again, and rightly so. He is an composer and singer, not a cabaret artist...but if you are going to bring your favourite "miming in the mirror" fantasy to life, do it with this much style!
Love you, Rufus!!!
Buy this DVD now!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 5, 2013 7:53 PM BST


Love Songs Of The '70s
Love Songs Of The '70s
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £12.66

2 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars TRULY TRULY HORRIBLE!, 7 Mar 2007
This review is from: Love Songs Of The '70s (Audio CD)
Without a doubt, this is the worst album that Donny has ever released. The backing tracks sound like third-rate karaoke tracks. The lead vocals, recorded in a Broadway dressing room, are listless and perfunctory. The track selection is a combination of "classics", sucked dry of any life and soul, and songs that you have made a fine art of trying to avoid for years. Osmond fans are the most faithful in the world, and have emptied their purses for almost 40 years on the complete output of "The Family"...I know I have. But this album is insulting, insipid and totally dispensable. Maybe the puppy love has been finally put down...


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